9-Run First Inning Helps Spirits Crush Sultanes

(May 4, 2024 – Carrollton, TX) The Spirits (50+) offense showed up more than ready Saturday morning when they faced Sultanes Rockers at McInnish Park. The ghosts utilized a 9-run first inning to cruise to a 12 to 2 mercy-rule win.

The Rockers were on their fourgh pitcher before they recorded an out versus the Spirits high-octane offense that didn’t include any extra base hits but finished the game with 14 total hits and only one error on the defensive side.

Shawn Lee and Shawn Hunt each finished the day perfect, adding 3-for-3 performances and each knocking in 3 runs as well. Lee scored twice and Hunt added another run as the duo combined for 9 of the Spirits 12 runs. Kent Fischer finished 2-for-3 and scored twice, and Chris Allen reached safely twice after wearing a pair of pitches during the game. 9 of the 11 Spirits hitters were able to reach safely with at least one hit; most of those coming in the first inning. Mike Sopocy was once again responsible for a pitching gem, scatting only 6 hits while giving up 2 earned runs while walking none, and striking out 3.

After the Rockers jumped out to a 2 to 0 lead in the top half of the first following a single, fielder’s choice, and another pair of singles, a sacrifice fly by Ramiro Escogido and a hard hit RBI single from Sammy Vives gave the appearance that the Rockers were ready to go.

Enter the bottom half of the first…after each pitch and each single hit by the Spirits, onlookers could see the life draining from each Rockers player as the lead grew and grew. After Allen led off by wearing a pitch, the Spirits rallied for 9 hits, a walk, and a fielding error to take the large lead. Eric McPherson and Fischer followed Allen with back-to-back singles, and a third single by Lee scored both Allen and McPherson. Sopocy drew a walk to load the bags and an RBI single by Hunt scored both Fischer and Lee.

After Jose Luis replaced Cesar Acosta at pitcher for Hunt’s at-bat, the Rockers turned to their third pitcher, Raudel Mata. Brian Hackney was able to reach on an error to load the bags again and 4 straight singles by Steven Nutt, Kevin Simmons, Earl German, and Stacy Scott gave the Spirits the 9 to 2 lead before Allen flew out, Scott was caught stealing, and McPherson grounded out to close out the first.

“We had a bit of a hitting merry-go-round there,” Lee commented about his team’s first inning. “I’m not certain if they were holding tryouts or what, but it was clear these guys were new players. We had issues with the lineup and a third of the guys we had to add in the book weren’t on their official roster from our first meeting. It was a bit of a circus. It didn’t seem to matter who they put on the mound. Our guys wanted to hit today and they hit well. What can you do when a team just knocks the ball around like that? Great job by everyone on the roster today.”

The game remained quiet for a while before the Spirits were able to tack on another 3 runs in the fought after Allen once again led off the inning by wearing a pitch. McPherson replaced him after reaching on a fielder’s choice that put out Allen at second. With one on and one out, McPherson stole second and Fischer’s second hit on the day moved him to third. Lee’s RBI single scored McPherson and Fischer scored after Sopocy reached on an error. Hunt’s second RBI single on the day scored Lee before Sopocy was tagged out at third and Hackney flew out to end the inning.

Sopocy set down the Rockers in order to secure the shortened complete-game mercy-rule victory. The ghosts return to work next Saturday morning when they visit the Aces starting at 9:00AM on Field #10 at McInnish Park. Fans can click here for schedule details or instructions on how to listen live using the iScore Central app.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

Shawn Lee (3-3, 2 R, 3 RBI)

Shawn Hunt (3-3, R, 3 RBI)

Mike Sopocy (1-2, BB, R, RBI; 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K)